Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Closing Time At The Auto Spa

I just dance, Diamond declares, and that’s all I do; them others can be had for fifty dollars, maybe less. She snickers. She turns herself halfway round in the swiveling chair. Her legs are crossed. She is in a jacket and jeans, looking square-faced at the men who come and go to and from the dance area. She sips vodka and cranberry juice from a plastic cup. Her work is done.

Diamond blinks and there is a fleeting spark underneath her eyelashes. All things seem to fall silent as she is brought into focus. Diamond is midtown in a glitzy hotel lobby. She is draped in heavy and expensive garments. She holds a hand against her face with rings shining. She has the freshly bloomed face of a woman who rests often and well.

Diamond looks pensive at the rendezvous point. Passersby gaze at her admiringly as she poses by a statuette. Poses under the chandelier. Poses by the row of plants. Poses in the vicinity of the piano not far from the revolving doors. In moments, a man will stride towards her. He wears an apologetic smile. He is more than slightly late. He will pull her into an embrace and hold her there. He will kiss her neck in a way only the truly devoted can. She will smile softly and grip his arm.

And with a bang, the door slams and breaks all concentration. The organizer walks away from it cursing. An open door attracts too much attention. It is an underground joint after all. The imagination is shattered. Diamond is there teetering on the edge of her chair. She crosses her legs in the other direction. Her toenails are painted in a surprising fluorescent color. It shows up suddenly in the light.

Diamond drains her cup and throws it in a nearby trashcan. Her eyes seem to have already departed the scene. She tugs at the material around her breasts. She draws herself up like a toddler trying to find its legs. Locating them, she recovers. Diamond gives a wide-hipped sashay back to the dance area. A group of men leer as she walks out of the room. Her work is done.